Shadow and Bone is fucking me up. It’s got me on the edge of my seat, my heart hurting, my head spinning, and me wanting to understand everything. Am I rooting for the best people? Am I believing in all of the things that I should? Am I seeing everything the way it’s meant to be.
But then I realized something during Shadow and Bone 1×08 “Otkaza’sya.” I don’t care. I love seeing it from the view that I am. The view where I am learning every moment. The one where I am falling for these characters with no ideas set in my head.
But would I want to do this all the time? No. I love books. Books are more important than movies to me.
They set you out on a journey, one that you can find your way, but you can also get lost on the journey. And as much as I thought that I would not be as invested in this journey, I am invested in this journey. And I want to pick up the books.
And after I am done with these reviews I am going to.
I believe that every story starts somewhere and it starts in the authors minds. And if we love a story, if we love a television show or movie – we owe it to the person that wrote it to read everything that we can on it.
And I will read everything that I can on this, because this story is beautiful. This story is complex. This story is something that touches my heart and soul and makes me believe that there is something more in this world for us all and we all need to embrace who we are when we figure out who that is.
FINDING A WAY BACK TO YOU
It’s killing me that they are not giving Mal and Alina the letters that they are writing to each other. I mean wouldn’t you be more focused if you heard from the person that you needed to hear from? Because I honestly feel that they NEED to hear from each other.
But it’s been weeks. Mal tried to bribe a squaller to get word to her, but was laughed at. He tried to talk to his lieutenant but was laughed off also and asked who was Alina to him anyways? And the truth is Mal doesn’t know how to answer.
The only answer he wants is a letter. He wants to hear from Alina. He needs a sign she still needs him and he gets one – when a new assignment comes. The General wants to have trackers out looking for the stag that keeps appearing in Alina’s dreams.
Part of what I love about about this episode and the one before it is the voice over is with the letter writing. Because their letters are so important and they aren’t getting them. And as we hear Mal’s letter, we see that his friends have volunteered to go with him. They aren’t going to let him go it alone.
Mal and friends are on the hunt and I like their banter. I like knowing that there are others with him. Snow is everywhere and they’ve crossed into territory that the shouldn’t be in. In this world that could be a death sentence.
They’ve set up camp and are resting. Mal is writing Alina, the only person that matters to him. Mal can hear a sound calling to him. It’s a soft sound, a sound that he’d hear it when they were kids too. Mal is drawn to it and puts on coat and goes and looks. They are under attack, and Mal isn’t about to lose his friends.
He runs to go and help them. It’s adrenaline pumping. Mal isn’t one to back down from protecting those that he loves. And when he’s in a space of fear, he remembers times of comfort.
He remembers back to starting basic training. He goes looking for Alina and she’s in the brig for slapping one of her commanders. I am kinda impressed by her. He beats someone up for calling Alina a name and is thrown in the brig, all to get next to her.
And he gets next to her. Alina is sleeping in the next cell. She wakes up and sees him. She asks why he’s there. He says usual. Same here for her. Their scars match. He says we do. And it’s a moment that you see and not that these two have and always will be drawn to each other.
MATCHING WITH YOU
Alina is also waiting for a letter. But nothing is coming. Genya is in her room, delivering an outfit, as she is to go horse riding with the General. Alina is reminded that this is her life, and Alina remarks that having Zoya toss her around is her life. But apparently she hadn’t heard. The General sent Zoya away, off the palace grounds to reassess her priorities.
Lord, I love the General.
I love the way that he interacts with Alina. The way he protects her. The way he lets down his guard with her. The way he wants her to realize that she’s special. The way he asks her to call him Alexander.
Fuck, when he tells her to call him Alexander, I smiled.
They go on a ride and end up at a fountain. He asks her what she sees when she’s looking in the water and she remarks someone else’s version of herself. And the thing is – I get it. But there are a million versions of ourselves. We are always evolving. He tells her maybe that it’s the real version of her that has come out.
I don’t think he always has the right words, but I think that he is trying. He wants her to feel at ease. He wants to know how things are. He wants to know how she feels. And he lets down his guard to talk about the story on the fountain. He tells her that when he found out that he was a direct descendant of the most hated person in Ravka he used to come to the fountain and make the wish he was someone else.
She sees the pics on the fountain and talks about the history of it. He welcomes her knowledge and she has the story right. There is a part of me that thinks that he’s impressed by her more and more each day. She feels like he looks at her like she is the solution and if she fails they will turn on her and she’ll be the brand new heratich. He says he won’t let that happen. He will be right by her side. Together they will change the world.
And I have to admit that I am rooting for this.
HOW TO GET INTO THE PALACE
Things aren’t going well for the crows and somehow this doesn’t discourage me. If anything it makes me more excited. Because with them it means chaos could ensue. They’ve lost their way into the palance, but Kaz has an idea. And Jesper, well he’s excited.
Because this means a heist.
One thing I love about Jesper is that he is magnetic. Everytime that he is on the screen, you feel the joy that he feels. You get excited when he does something because you know he’s going to put everything that he can into it.
They all are.
It’s time for a royal archive heist and that’s going to be fun. Kaz gets off the carriage and he straight up looks like a cross between an Italian artist and a Scotsman. Well the stereotypical ones that we see in the movies.
Inej and Jesper make their way in and get the blueprints. All I can think about is that I want to be like Inej, because she’s stealthy and I walk like a herd of buffalo coming through. And I also want a friend like Jesper, cause he’s always there when he needs her.
He’s able to shoot the door open for her to get out when her escape plan gets a little kink in it. My friends can’t even remember my birthday. Inej definitely has the better friend in this situation.
There is no way in and no way out for the Crows at the palace, but it is fun to watch them try to come up with a plan.
And who would have known that it would be the Conductor that comes up with one. He’s made the star of the traveling troop, The Players, who are set to perform at the palace, fall and hurt herself. This gives The Crows a way in, because we all know Inej is talented AF, and she can figure this shit out.
And she blows them away. Of course she gets the spot. Jesper says Inej is a package deal, but Marco ain’t having that shit. Lord Marco, you need to learn. But while this is an inconvenience for Jesper, he can find the fun in it. For Kaz he’s just stubborn and he’ll find his own way. I have faith in them all, but the reality is that they are all better together.
FIND YOUR INNER LIGHT
What I love about Alina’s training is Baghra. Like that woman is funny as fuck and takes no shit. And that’s good – because in a story that sometimes feels so serious – you need someone that is going to break up the stress and the seriousness.
Baghra isn’t putting up with Alina not believing in herself. She’s not going to let Alina take her gift for granted. I mean, who can blame her? Alina is powerful and I am all into her owning her power. All of us as women should do just that. Too many times we don’t believe in ourselves and it only causes us problems. Also when it comes to Alina, I would do whatever it takes to summon the light cause Baghra likes to hit. And I am not into that shit.
Alina thing is she needs an amplifier, but is reminded that an amplifier is a lazy way of using her gift. Baghra is a little blunt and bitchy, reminds Alina that she’s not her Mom, but she’ll always be looking for one.
Moral of this story – don’t take tea from an old woman, cause she’s straight up drugged Alina and is forcing her to remember the past. It’s back to testing day in the orphanage and Alina is determined to never leave Mal. She says that they can run, but the headmistress finds them first.
Alina and Mal have always been inseparable and we see how she got the scar on her hand. She gave it to herself, in order to not test Grisha. She tested she knew that the testers used sudden pain to detect, so she was already in pain to protect herself. That’s why she’s got the scar. She protected herself by denying herself.
Baghra wants to know why Alina is holding back. When she tells her to bring the light and asks how many more kids need to be orphaned because she’s afraid of the truth, my heart breaks.
But it breaks even more when Alina thinks that Mal hasn’t written her and that he’s abandoned her. It breaks my heart when she allows herself to believe that needing anyone else is weak.
But it also breaks my heart that pain is what allows her to bring the light.
I hate the fact that they are keeping letters away from her. She loves Mal and I get it. But there is another part of me that really doesn’t want her to – because I am torn to the Darklina side. Ships, they fuck with you.
Alina let it get to her so much that she has Genya get rid of her scar and I hate that for her. She deserves to remember that Mal loves her, that she’s important and that he’s not given up on her.
WE’RE ON A BOAT
Lets say this – finding out that Nina was working for the General was a surprise. Why he wants her back and wants her saved, I am not sure. But I do think that it will be interesting as it all unfolds. But that’s the beauty of this show, it has drawn me so far in that I can’t help but see the beauty and potential in everything.
I haven’t figured out just who Nina is or what she means. I have figured out that I don’t like Mathias and don’t trust his motives. Why is he bringing her food? What does he want? I have to admit, I love her and the fact that she’s not gonna put up with his shit. Doesn’t matter that he’s her captor. She’s going to talk back.
He’s been taught that the Grisha will kill him. He’s been taught that they are witches. And I am just wondering if he notices how choppy the sea is and if she is a witch he’s going to need her. She’s warned him that the man that she works for will hunt her down and he’s an idiot. He wants information on the Darkling.
She ends up taking a bite of the food and spitting it back at him, telling him that she won’t take his scraps. I may have danced a little at that. Tell that asshole the way things are. He’s delusional and quite honestly, needs a good roll in the sack. Too much pent up aggression.
Water is overtaking the ship and may break it. Captain tells Mathias to kill the Grisha cause as they take on water he doesn’t want them to get loose. And for a moment I think that he may be redeemable because I see a look in his eyes that he doesn’t want to.
DARKLINA OR MALINA
My favorite moment in this episode is when Alina can’t sleep and walks around the castle. She finds her way to the General’s office and sees him studying and planning the next move. He’s looking at maps and that is her speciality.
He notices her and for a moment I believe that he feels at ease with her there. She wants to know if she’s disturbing him, but she’s not and he invites her in and gives her a drink. It’s a current map. Enemies are threatened by her. There is talk of uprising in the west, led by an army general.
Darkling has been fighting for so long alone, buried so many. The noose tightens and their own people are turning. She grabs his hand and the light appears.
Look, I know he amplifies stuff and I can respect that, but I love these two and the chemistry that they have. And I love that for her, she’s finding a little bit more vulnerability and sees that she can be vulnerable with someone who isn’t Mal.
She tells him he is not alone. He cradles her face and tells her he’s been waiting a long time for her, and I swear it was like I forgot all about Malina in that moment. I wanted them together. I was all about Darklina. There was nothing else that mattered to me.
That was until the last few moments of the show. The stag comes in full view and we hear Mal’s voice. He asks her if she remembered when he told her about true north, well she is his true north and he can see that. He can see his way to her now.
Lord, my emotions.